Naoki Yoshida

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Naoki Yoshida
Yoshida at the Japan Expo in Paris (2013)
吉田 直樹

(1973-05-01) 1 May 1973 (age 47)
Other namesYoshi-P
OccupationVideo game producer and director
EmployerSquare Enix

Naoki Yoshida (吉田 直樹, Yoshida Naoki, born May 1, 1973),[1] also known by the nickname Yoshi-P,[2] is a Japanese video game producer, director and designer working for Square Enix. He is known primarily for his work on massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), as chief planner on Dragon Quest X and as director and producer of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. He is also currently working as producer for the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI. He is credited with rescuing the original Final Fantasy XIV project from its disastrous launch. Yoshida is an Executive Officer at Square Enix,[3] the Head of Square Enix's Creative Business Unit III[4] and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.[5]

Early career[edit]

Yoshida joined the video game industry in 1993 and started his career at Hudson Soft, where he was assigned to the creation of PC Engine games at first.[6] Later, he participated as scenario writer in the Far East of Eden series and as game designer in the Bomberman series.[7] After he left Hudson Soft, he worked at several smaller game studios for five years.[6]

Career at Square Enix[edit]

One of Yoshida's favorite games is Tactics Ogre directed by Yasumi Matsuno, who worked at Square Enix at the time and went on to create games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII. Tactics Ogre had made such an impact on him that he built his career in order to have the opportunity to work with Matsuno and create a game together.[8] Yoshida eventually joined Square Enix in 2004, but Matsuno left the company soon after. He became the head of the Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road series as well as a game designer of Dragon Quest X in its early stages.[6][7]

In December 2010, he was taken off the Dragon Quest team and placed in charge of the staff that developed the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Final Fantasy XIV, which had been unsuccessful since its launch several months before.[2][9] Then company president Yoichi Wada attributed this decision to Yoshida's experience, "charismatic" leadership skills and "passionate" will to satisfy customers.[9] Yoshida was not acquainted with any of the Final Fantasy XIV team's members and thus had to demonstrate his dedication to the project first to gain their trust as director. He then talked with the individual developers to find out their ideas for improvements to the revised version known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. He proceeded with describing to the team the precise goals to achieve.[2] Yoshida drew some inspiration from his long-lasting enthusiasm for MMORPGs, having played such titles as Ultima Online, EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2.[6][10] As a result of his direction, reviewers and commentators have credited Yoshida with "rescuing" the Final Fantasy XIV project.[11][12][13][14] He went on to work with Matsuno in creating the Return to Ivalice raid for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, saying he "was able to fulfill [his] dream to work with Matsuno-san".[8]

Between December 2013 and December 2019, Yoshida wrote a regular column for Famitsu titled "Yoshida Uncensored" (吉田の日々赤裸々), discussing his thoughts on Final Fantasy XIV, video games, the game industry, and game development in general.[15][16] It has been collected into three published volumes. Yoshida ended the column in December 2019 due to lack of time to write it.

In September 2020, Final Fantasy XVI was revealed to be in development for PlayStation 5 with Yoshida serving as producer.[17]


Video games[edit]

Year Title Credit(s)
1998 Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth Special thanks
1999 Bomberman 64: The Second Attack Story mode director
2007 Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road Director
Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors Special thanks
2008 Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road II Legend Director
2010 Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road Victory
Final Fantasy XIV Producer, Director
2012 Dragon Quest X Planner chief
2013 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Producer, director
2015 Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius Special thanks
Final Fantasy XI: Rhapsodies of Vana'diel Division executive
2016 Dragon Quest Builders
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Special thanks
Final Fantasy XV
2017 Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Producer, director
Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Special thanks
Final Fantasy Dimensions II
2018 Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
2019 Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Producer, director
2021 Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
TBA Final Fantasy XVI Producer


Year Title
2016 Yoshida Uncensored Volume 1
2018 Yoshida Uncensored Volume 2
2019 Yoshida Uncensored Volume 3


  1. ^ "「FFXIV: 新生エオルゼア」プロデューサーレターLIVEレポート". Game Watch. 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  2. ^ a b c Vreeland, Michael (2012-06-04). "FFXIV Interview: Phoenix Down For a Fallen MMO". Archived from the original on 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  3. ^ "Board of Directors". Square Enix. 2016.
  4. ^ "第三開発事業本部". Square Enix. 2019.
  5. ^ "What Does Square Enix's Final Fantasy Committee Do?". Siliconera. March 25, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Donaldson, Alex (2011-11-01). "Final Fantasy XIV Interview with Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida - Round 2". RPG Site. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  7. ^ a b "『ファイナルファンタジーXIV』新プロデューサー兼ディレクターに直撃インタビュー". Famitsu. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  8. ^ a b Khan, Imad (2019-06-14). "'FF XIV' Director Talks 'Shadowbringers,' 'Game of Thrones,' Panda Express". Variety. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  9. ^ a b Wada, Yoichi; Yoshida, Naoki; Tanaka, Hiromichi (2012-12-10). "An Important Announcement for Final Fantasy XIV Fans". Square-Enix. Archived from the original on 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  10. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (2013-02-13). "Massively Exclusive: A dinner with Final Fantasy XIV's Naoki Yoshida". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  11. ^ Nutt, Christian (2011-04-01). "Fixing Final Fantasy XIV: The Yoshida Interview". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  12. ^ Nutt, Christian (2014-04-18). "Understanding the successful relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  13. ^ Lin, Joseph C. (2015-04-14). "Meet the Guy Who Saved Final Fantasy XIV from Total Disaster". Time. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  14. ^ Parkin, Simon (2014-04-18). "Meet the man who salvaged Final Fantasy 14 from ruin". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  15. ^ "Final Fantasy XIV Director Naoki Yoshida Will Write a Regular Column on Famitsu".
  16. ^ "Final Fantasy XIV's Director Had a Terrible Experience With MMOs". Kotaku.
  17. ^ "Final Fantasy XVI Announced for PlayStation 5 and PC (Update)". Siliconera. 2020-09-16. Retrieved 2020-09-17.